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FC St. Pauli slipped to a 3-2 home defeat against a powerful Bochum side on Thursday evening. In a spectacular encounter, Guido Burgstaller and Kofi Kyereh twice gave the Boys in Brown the lead, only for Simon Zoller to level both times. The visitors played to their strengths after the interval and were ultimately worth their victory, even if the winner in the shape of a Daniel Buballa own goal was rather fortuitous.

Six points from the last two games left head coach Timo Schultz little reason to tinker with his starting lineup. Adam Dźwigała for Sebastian Ohlsson was the only change, the Swedish right-back missing out due to a muscle problem. The visitors have started the year better than anyone else in the league. Last week's draw at SV Sandhausen came after four wins in succession, prompting boss Thomas Reis to make just one adjustment in Gerrit Holtmann for Milos Pantovic.

Bochum also boast the league's meanest defence, but they soon found themselves behind when St. Pauli made the perfect start. Two minutes after Omar Marmoush had lost control of the ball when promisingly placed, Guido Burgstaller was on hand to convert a ball in from Leart Paqarada. The Austrian's initial effort came back off the crossbar, but he was able to prod the rebound over the line for his third goal of the season. The visitors shrugged off the early setback and went close on nine minutes when Philipp Ziereis deflected a Holtmann cross onto his own crossbar. Four minutes later, Maxim Leitsch fired into the side netting from a corner.

The visitors enjoyed more of the possession in this phase of the game, leaving the home side to wait for a chance to counter. Zoller hit a shot wide of the goal from the inside-right channel, while at the other end Omar Marmoush failed to spot the better-placed Burgstaller after an excellent mazy run. Then, Bochum struck in clinical fashion. Robert Zulj knocked a ball over the top for Zoller, who calmly knocked it past Dejan Stojanović and finished into the empty net. A hectic few minutes ensued. Moments after Finn Ole Becker had cleared a Leitsch header off the line, Kyereh picked the ball up in midfield and lashed a venomous drive into the roof of the net from distance to make it 2-1. Marmoush then had a chance to extend the lead but dragged his shot from the right well off target.

An eventful first half ended with the visitors in the ascendency again. Holtmann dispatched a ball into the danger area and a misunderstanding in the home rearguard allowed Zoller to level the scores with a header at the back post.

Perfect start: Guido Burgstaller gives his side an early lead.

Perfect start: Guido Burgstaller gives his side an early lead.

Both coaches made one change during the interval. Pantovic replaced Herbert Bockhorn for the visitors, while the fit-again Luca Zander came on for Adam Dźwigała. Perhaps understandably, the pace of the game dropped noticeably after the restart as the teams sought to gain a degree of control. The first sniff of goal came in the 57th minute when Zulj whacked a free-kick into the side netting, though Stojanović looked to have it covered. Marmoush popped up in the box once more on the hour, but again had no joy with the finish. And the Boys in Brown lacked fortune at the other end three minutes later when Zulj's shot looked to be heading straight to Stojanović until it took a wicked deflection off Daniel Buballa and ended up in the net.

Schultz responded with the introduction of Afeez Aremu and Leon Flach for Becker and Rico Benatelli to freshen things up in midfield. The visitors continued to dictate the proceedings, however, knocking the ball around confidently for long periods and keeping things very tight at the back. Zulj and Zoller carried a constant threat up front and the latter saw a cross skim off his forehead and go wide instead of finding the far corner. Pantovic then unleased a vicious drive from outside the box and the Boys in Brown could count themselves lucky that Holtmann found himself in the way.

Simon Makienok and Maximilian Dittgen came on in the closing stages, but the change failed to produce the desired attacking momentum. Instead, the visitors were able to protect their lead to the end and solidify their spot in the promotion race, whereas the Boys in Brown drop back into the relegation play-off place.

FC St. Pauli

Stojanović - Dźwigała (Zander 46'), Ziereis, Buballa, Paqarada (Dittgen 83') - Benatelli (Aremu 70'), Becker (Flach 70'), Kyereh, Zalazar - Marmoush, Burgstaller (Makienok 83')

Head coach: Timo Schultz


VfL Bochum

Riemann – Gamboa, Bella Kotchap, Leitsch, Danilo Soares – Losilla, Tesche – Bockhorn (Pantovic 46'), Zulj (Masovic 89'), Holtmann (Eisfeld 90'+1) - Zoller (Ganvoula 83')

Head coach: Thomas Reis


Goals: 1-0 Burgstaller (4'), 1-1 Zoller (28'), 2-1 Kyereh (32'), 2-2 Zoller (43'), 2-3 Buballa (o.g. 63')

Yellow cards: Gamboa

Referee: Harm Osmers (Hannover)


Photos: Witters